|Publication number||US2914309 A|
|Publication date||Nov 24, 1959|
|Filing date||May 25, 1953|
|Priority date||May 25, 1953|
|Publication number||US 2914309 A, US 2914309A, US-A-2914309, US2914309 A, US2914309A|
|Inventors||Salomonsson Gosta Joha Wilhelm|
|Original Assignee||Svenska Skifferolje Aktiebolag, Husky Oil Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (308), Classifications (12) |
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Oil and gas recovery from tar sands
US 2914309 A
Nov. 24, 1959 G. J. w. SALOMONSSON 45 OIL AND GAS RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS Filed May 25, 1953 5 Sheets -Sheet 1 FIG.\
1 g o o o o 3 o o o 3 l3 3 3 3 4 4 YAYAYAA AYAYAYAYA VAAYAYAY INVENTOR GOSTA J, w. SALO'MONSS'ON AT TORNEY Nov. 24, 1959 G. J.YW. SALOMONSSON 2,914,309
OIL, AND CAs RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS Filed May 25, 1953 v 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 GASEOUS FUEL AIR AND/OR OXYGEN- PYROLYSIS VAPOURS a 9 OVERBURDEN NO TAR CONTENT VIRGIN TAR SAND ZONE WHERE PYROLYSIS TAKES PLACE ZONE WITH SAND COKE AIR AND/O OX I R 'YGEN PYROLYSIS, VAPOURS OVERBURDEN NO TAR CONTENT VIRGIN TAR SAND lo ZONE WHERE PYROLYSIS TAKES PLACE ZONE WITH SAND TAR i INVENTOR GOSTA J. w. SALOMONSSON ATTORNEY G. J. w. SALOMONSSON 2,914,309
OIL AND GAS RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS Nov. 24, 1959 Fiied May 25, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 3A BURNING GASES AND F 6 PYROLYSIS VAPOURS GAS INLET TUBE I l GAS OUTLET TUBE OXYGEN-CONTAINING GAS MIXTURES OVERBURDEN NO TAR CONTENT ZONE WHERE PYROLYSIS HAS PARTLY OCCURRED ZONE WITH COKE PERFORATED TUBE VIRGIN TAR SAND ZONE WHERE PIROLYSIS occuRs F'RST CONNECTED v ZONE WITH COKE WHERE COMBUSTION occuRs E ZONE WITH OUTBURNED COKE T CONNECTED ELEMENT CONTENT OUTBUR- DEN PYROLYZED SAN D TIMEA 1 PERIODS TIME B7+0 I O INVEN'IB'R GOSTA J.W. SALOMONSSON THE ELEMENTS CONNECTED AT TIMES A AND 8 FIG. 9.
ATTORNEY Nov. 24, 1959' G. J. w. SALOMONSSON 9 OIL AND GAS RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 25, 1953 GASEOUS FUEL AIR AND/QR OXYGEN GAS OUTLET F I G. 7
PYROLYSIS VAPOURS TAR SAND PYROLYSIS ZONE OVERBURDEN SAND COKE MOVABLE GAS FIRED ELEMENT INVENTOR GOSTA J. W. SALOMONSSON ATTORNEY Nov. 24, 1959 G. J. w. SALOMONSSON 5 3 011. AND GAS RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS Filed May 25, 1953 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 FIG. 8
AIR AND/OR OXYGEN I GAS OUTLET TUBE MOVABLE GAS INLET TUBE OVERBURDEN ZONE WHERE PYROLYSIS HAS PARTLY OCCURRED PERFORATED TUBE 37 ZONE WITH COKE VIRGIN TAR SAND ZONE WHERE PYROLYSIS OCCURS ZONE WITH COKE WHERE COMBUST ION OCCURS ZONE WITH OUTBURNED COKE 4 INVENTOR GOSTA J. W. SALOMON'SSON ATTORNEY United States Patent OIL AND GAS RECOVERY FROM TAR SANDS Gosta Johan Wilhelm Salomonsson, Hallabrottet, Sweden, assignor, by direct and mesne assignments, of one-half to Svenska Skifferolje Aktiebolaget, Orebro, Sweden, :1 joint-stack company of Sweden, and one-half to Husky Oil Company, Cody, Wyo., a corporation of Delaware Application May 25, 1953, Serial No. 357,042
6 Claims. (Cl. 262-3) This invention relates to methods of recovering hydrocarbon containing products from tar sands in situ in the earth, to apparatus for enabling such methods to be carried out, and to the products resulting from such operations.
Various types of different mining and separating methods have been proposed in the prior art for the recovery of tar from tar sands. The yields obtained have been too small compared to the costs for mining, transporting, treating and disposal of tne sand. Among the methods which may be mentioned are separation by means of hot water, cold water, or solvents and further pyrolysis in retorts. The mining and handling of this cloggy material has offered a number of difiicult technical problems. In all of those methods the initial features involve mining and transportation of the mined material. After the separation, the heavy tar must be cracked to lighter compounds before it can be refined by the methods to produce products of use on the market.
Among the objects of the present invention are included methods of recovering hydrocarbon containing products from tar sands in situ, the separation being performed directly in the ground.
Other objects include the pyrolysis of the tar to produce lighter hydrocarbons, the volatile products of pyrolysis such as cracking being distilled off immediately and collected.
Further objects include apparatus enabling such operations to be readily carried out.
Still further objects include the hydrocarbons products produced by pyrolysis of the tar in the tar sand in situ.
Still further objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the more detailed description set forth below, it being understood that such more detailed description is given by way of illustration and explanation only, and not by way of limitation, since vairous changes therein may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.
In connection with that more detailed description, there is shown in the accompanying drawing, in
Figure 1, a plan view of one arrangement of heating elements for carrying out the present invention; in
Figure 2, a plan view of another arrangement; in
Figure 3, a plan view of a further arrangement; in
Figure 4, a vertical section through a field subjected to treatment in accordance with the present invention; and in Figures 5-9, vertical sections through fields illustrating additional methods of treatment in accordance with the present invention.
In accordance with the present invention, hydrocarbon containing products are produced from tar sands in situ in the earth by subjecting the tar sands in situ in the earth to heat to pyrolyze the tar in the sands and to form pyrolyzed hydrocarbons which are recovered.
Various types of tar sands deposits found in several parts of the world may be utilized. The most important 2,914,309 Patented Nov. 24, 1959 ice deposit is that of the Athabasca tar sands in northern Alberta, Canada. Such Athabasca tar sand is fairly typical of materials that can be utilized in accordance with the present invention and due to their availability will be employed to illustrate the present invention. The Y tar sand COIlSlStS of an intimate mixture of fine quartz sand constituting about by weight, a heavy and viscous black tar constituting generally from about 12- 17% by weight, with smaller quantities of water of about 2 to 5% by weight. The tar differs in many respects from petroleum and is an essentially different material. At room temperature it is semi-solid. The Athabasca deposits are approximately to 200 feet thick and are overlain by 0-200 feet overburden consisting of gravel, shale, limestone, etc.
It has been found that the physical and chemical properties of such tar sands require essential differentiations in the methods of treating such tar sands to recover hydrocarbon containing products therefrom in situ, that is without removal of the tar sand from the earth for treatment at some other locality.
In accordance with tne present invention instead of mining and handling the sand, the separation of hydrocarbon containing products from tne tar is performed directly in the earth. The method desirably employed includes pyrolysis, e.g. cracking of the tar to lighter hydrocarbons by heating the sand layers to such temperatures that the tar in tne tar sand is pyrolyzer or cracked. The volatile cracked products are distilled off immediately and collected as in drill holes through the layers, the drill holes being connected with a tube network.
In the pyrolysis of tar in the sand in situ, heat is supplied to pyrolyze the tar. Desirably the temperature for pyrolysis is from about 250 C. to about 380 C., but other ranges of temperatures can be employed depending on the effects sought. As the tar between the sand grains is heated above about 100 C., its water content (normally from about 2 to 5% by weight of the sand) is given off. At higher temperatures the tar becomes less viscous and begins to move downwardly between the grains by gravity. At about 250 C. thermal decomposition begins and as a result of the pyrolysis vapors of hydrocarbons (from methane up to heavy oil hydrocarbons) and related compounds are produced as well as oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur compounds. Phenols, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are among products usually obtained. The vapors are recovered from the production bore-hole or gas-hole. In the movement of vapors toward the collection zone, where they come in contact with colder and more dense parts of the tar sand, the heavier components are condensed to the liquid state in which the tar is partly dissolved and diluted and flows more easily. After the pyrolysis, there is left be hind in the sand a coke like or carbon containing product which may be burned later.
The heat utilized for pyrolysis may be supplied to the heating zone in any desired way. Thus electrical elements inserted in tubes in drill holes may be employed as well as gas fired elements, superheated steam, etc., or heat may be obtained by combustion of the virgin tar sand or any cracked residues thereof left behind in the formation, the carbon in such cracked residues being readily available for this purpose. Where combustion of such residual carbon containing products is utilized to produce heat employed in other stages of the process, the combustion of such coke-carbon will generally not produce all of the heat necessary for pyrolysis of tar in the tar sand and in such cases may be sup.- plemented by utilization of combustible gases produced in the pyrolysis of the tar or from other sources. Since pyrolysis of the tar produces hydrocarbon vapors and combustible gases which latter have little utility other than for combustion purposes, the combustible gases may be separated from the volatile hydrocarbons present and the combustible gases utilized to supplement the source of heat as explained above.
The heating elements may be arranged in any desired Way in spaced heating zones desirably arranged in geometrical pattern which heating zones connect through passages in the earth with a gas or vapor recovery zone so that such gas recovery zone is surrounded by spaced heating zones. Such pattern may for example be that of a triangle, a square, or a hexagon, the triangular, square, or hexagonal pattern desirably covering the whole field, which is to be subjected to treatment. In the arrangement shown in Figure 1, heating elements 1, 1 are arranged hexagonally while gas outlets 2, 2 are positioned centrally of each geometrical figure of the pattern. In Figure 2, a square pattern is illustrated with heating elements 3, 3 and gas outlets 4, 4. A heating element may be placed in each triangle, square or hexagon and a gas recovery zone or gas hole positioned at the center of each of the triangles, squares or hexagons. A triangular pattern is shown in Figure 3 where a'combined heating ele ment 5 and gaseollecting tube 6 may be arranged in each corner of each triangle. The heating period length and distance between heating elements depends on the specific load on the element, that is the electrical power or fuel calories supplied per hour per unit length of the element. For example with electrical heating, specific loads of from 0.5 to 2.5 kw./meter may be utilized but these it should be understood are exemplary and may vary with particular conditions and operations being carried out. The most desirable load value to be employed may be determined by field tests under the particular conditions of operation in a particular field.
The condition which determines the heating period is that every part of the sand layer should be brought to the desired temperature necessary for complete pyrolysis of the tar. Desirably this temperature may be about 380- 400 C. (720750 F.). The heating period lengths of time will vary with the particular fields and operations being carried out but will generally lie within fairly reasonable limits as from 1 to 40 weeks.
The features referred to immediately above are particularly concerned with indirect heating methods as when heating elements are inserted in heating zones or drill holes. If the heat is produced in situ in the tar sand itself as by combustion of combustible gases or of coke-carbon in the formation produced from pyrolysis of the tar itself, or by combinations of such methods, the heat transfer may be improved in a number of ways. In such cases the maximum temperatures in the combustion zone may be higher and no tube strength restrictions are imposed. The combustion zone moves slowly and concentrically outward from the inlet points so that the heat transfer distance is thus diminished. The combustion gases flow toward the gas outlets thereby carrying heat from the hottest to the coldest portions of the tar sand. Consequently such methods of heat treatment improve the heating rates and cut the length of heating periods considerably. In utilization of a combustion element for heat treatment, a specific load corresponding for example to 1.0 kw./meter may be obtained for example by blowing an air quantity of about 15 cubic meters and a fuel quantity of about 1 cubic meter per minute per meter of element length. The air and fuel gas may be mixed at the burner head and ignited. In this way the combustion of the coke-carbon is initiated. As the coke is burned, the combustion zone spreads in all directions.
The combustion gases must overcome the flow resistance of the unburned coke and, at distances farther from the element, of the virgin tar-impregnated sand. As soon as the gases have penetrated through the barrier, the passage rapidly becomes wider due to the action of the hot gases. The tar is liquified and pressed away.
As well the sand as the coke after pyrolysis are permeable for oil vapours, combustion gases etc. The coke is, however, more permeable than the sand. This fact may be utilized for creating such passages in the oil-bearing strata that the oil vapors and gases preferably move towards the gas outlet point.
The sand is transformed to coke by means of heating the former. Thus there is formed a coke wall around the element hole. This coke formation starts during the hole drilling in the case where the drilling is performed by the drill burning method. If the element heating starts after the hole drilling, the thickness of the coke layer is larger, the longer is the heating time. Around the element tube there is thus created a passage for gas flow in vertical direction, upwards or downwards. At the same time as the coke is formed the pyrolysis takes place and oil .vapors and gases are liberated. In the zone where pyrolysis takes place a super-pressure is created, which forces the volatile products to flow in all directions, which are permeable.
The conducting of the heated tar and/or tar products may even be brought about by introduction of gas under pressure.
It the gas outlet is situated at the top of the sand layer the vertical gas passage should be open from the pyrolysis zone to the outlet point. This occurs if the pyrolysis zone, that is the heated part of the element moves downwards. If the outlet point is at the bottom of the sand layers, the pyrolysis zone should move from bottom upwards through the sand in order to create the necessary passage for the gases. This movement of the pyrolysis zone may be arranged by lowering or raising the burner equipment inside the element tube. If the heat is created by combustion of coke or gas directly in the layers, the burner which supplies air (and gas) for the combustion, may be moved upwards or downwards in the same manner and for the same purpose as described above. These matters are subsequently exemplified.
The hydrocarbon vapors and combustible gases etc., produced by pyrolysis of the tar in situ may be collected in any desired way. It is possible to collect vapors and gases in such a way that at least partial separation of the vapors from the gases takes place in the heating zone as can be accomplished by relative positioning of the points of entry of air or oxygen and fuel gases when used, and points of removal of the vapors and gases. The oil vapors are collected and subjected to further treatment such as condensation, distillation, refining, transport and byproduct recovery according to any desired methods at any point where such vapors may be conveniently treated.
The oil vapors and gases leave the zone, where they have been formed or liberated with a rather high temperature for example 350400 C. Part of their sensible heat content may be utilized for preheating combustion air or fuel or both by means of heat exchangers of any shape, either built together with the element tube and sunk in the element hole, or forming a separate equipment, connected to the top of the element tube, above the ground surface.
If heat is generated in the element or directly in the ground by combustion of any kind of fuel, also the sensible heat of the combustion gases may be utilized for the above-mentioned purpose.
The sensible heat content of the oil vapors and gases, formed through the pyrolysis may also be utilized for distilling the oil produced into such fractions of different boiling temperatures that may be found suitable for marketing or further refining purposes. This may be made in such manner that the hot gases, leaving the ground, are directly fed to a fractioning tower of conventional design. Thereby no, or only a part of the heat quantity which would otherwise have been used, must be supplied to the tower.
The products from the in situ pyrolysis of tar sand are of better quality and are more easily refined than products from other methods of oil recovery. If tar is extracted f om sand, after mining, with hot or cold water gasoline, are due to such characteristics of the in situ.
method as the long duration of the heat treatment and the relatively low temperature during the pyrolysis. As an example of the properties of an oil, which can be obtained by the in situ method, may be mentioned the following analysis of an oil, obtained in a direct test:
Spec. gravity, 20 C 0.87 Refractive index 1.490 Viscosity, 20 C centistokes 7.0 Viscosity, 50 C do 2.2 Sulphur content percent by weight..- 2.8 Bromine number 35 The virgin tar contains about 4% by weight of sulphur in the form of sulphur-compounds. Through the lengthy heating of the rock by using the in situ method these sulphur compounds are cracked, whereby at least part of the sulphur is obtained in the incondensable gases in the form of hydrogen sulphide. The hydrogen sulphide can be separated from the gas and transformed to elemental sulphur by means of known processes (for instance the AlkaZid-Claus method).
In methods for pyrolysis of tar sands in situ it is necessary to have drill holes or bore holes in which heating elements may be placed. The production of drill holes or bore holes in tar sand frequently offers difficulties. It has therefore been found desirable to utilize methods for hole drilling in tar sand as disclosed in the application of G. Salomonsson Serial No. 298,189 filed July 10, 1952, now patent No. 2,833,516, in which the hole drilling is performed by means of a stream of air or oxygen, desirably heated, directed toward the sand. The hot air or oxygen initiates a combustion of the tar between the sand grains which are thus liberated. The sand grains may be transported pneumatically to the surface for example by means of the ascending current of combustion gases. If the tar content is not high enough to maintain the combustion, an additional amount of fuel for instance gas may be supplied to the burner. The tar in the surrounding portions of the sand is partially cracked by the heat liberated at the drilling operation. Such cracking results in a coke residue which hardens the hole walls. This hardening may be so strong that no casing of the wall is necessary.
Since the drilling burner and the heating element for producing pyrolysis of the tar in situ in the tar sand may have analogous functions such as sunnlving air and gas under pressure to the sand layers, the drilling and pyrolysis heating may be carried out in a single operation.
As an example of the processes mentioned above, the following data is given.
The oil recovery process may for example be performed by drilling holes with a diameter of 3 inches in a triangular pattern, covering the whole field with a shortest hole distance of 2.5 meters. The drilling through the overburden may be performed in the conventional way. When the overburden is thin, some part of the upper tar sand layer may also be drilled in this way. For drilling through the tar sand, drilling burners according to the patent No. 2,833,516 may be used. Some part of the layers under the tar sand is also drilled through. When drilling with the drilling burner through the tar sand there is formed 6 a columnar coke layer around the hole so that no casing of the hole is necessary as pointed out above.
Figures 4 and 5 exemplify a gas fired element in position in the whole tar sand layer. After the hole is drilled, the drilling burner is removed and a combined heating element and gas outlet tube is sunk into the hole. As shown in Figure 4, the gas outlet tube 7 is sunk just to the upper part 8 of the tar sand when the overburden 9 is thick. When the overburden is thin, or if there is no overburden at all, the gas outlet tube 7 is desirably sunk down through some part of the tar sand as shown in Figure 5, where this upper part of the tar sand will compensate for the thin overburden as a covering cap. Elsewhere the pyrolysis vapours will come up everywhere between the holes. The heating element 10 is situated between the bottom of the gas outlet tube 7 and the bottom layers with no tar content. This latter is especially important because it is thus possible to heat some part of the bottom layer and in such a way avoid the tar flowing to the bottom layer and remaining there. Gaseous fuel and oxygen containing gas mixtures are supplied through fuel inlet 11 and air inlet 12 respectively to the element 10 of such character and in such quantities that a quantity of heat of about 700 kcal. is liberated per hour and per meter of the element length.
The column shaped heat zone proceeds concentrically out from the element tube so there will be a zone 13 with sand coke nearest the hole followed by the zone 14 where the pyrolysis takes place. The progress of the heating process is followed by temperature measurement in the coldest part of the field, that is in the center of the triangle between three heating elements. When the temperature at this point has increased to 400 C. which normally happens about about 5 months heating, the heating is stopped since every part of the sand has been brought to pyrolysis temperature.
The pyrolysis vapours and gases are collected through the gas outlet 7, which is situated at the top of the tar sand layer. The super pressure, created in the sand during the pyrolysis, is suflicient to maintain the gas flow in the rock and through the gas-collecting tubes. The super pressure in the rock may be regulated to a desired value by means of valves (not shown), inserted in every gas tube.
Depending on local conditions, such as availability and price of gaseous fuel, quality of uncondensable gases obtainable from the specific kind of tar sand being heated, etc., it may be perferable to use the calories of the sand coke for heating, e.g. in the following way:
The triangular pattern as set forth in Figure 3 also shows a hexagonal pattern by combining 6 triangles with a common corner. This arrangement may also be used in combustion of the sand coke. Firstly, a part of the tar sand is pyrolyzed around each combined heating element and gas-collecting tube to such an extent that the temperature between two such holes is high enough, say about l00l50 C'., that the viscosity of the tar here is low enough to permit gases passing from one hole to another adjacent hole. By throttling the gas outlet holes, it is possible to develop a higher super pressure in the tar sand layer and thus hasten the production of passages between the centre hole and one of the surrounding holes. Thereafter the heating elements are removed and in the centre hole of a hexagon, a perforated tube is sunk. As shown in Figure 6, an oxygen containing gas mixture is distributed to the whole sand layer 15 through the perforations 16 of the tube 17. The ignition can be started either by preheating the oxygen containing gas mixture to a sufiicient temperature or by dropping a self igniting substance or mixture of substances into the element hole 18. Depending on the greater or lesser permeability and the greater or lower carbon content of the sand coke, the combustion proceeds more or less rapidly and thus gives shape to a more or less regular combustion 7 zone 19, the temperature of which will be 800-1000 C. From this zone 19, the heat is conducted to cooler parts of the layers. In the zone 20 where the temperature is about 250-400" C., the pyrolysis takes place. The pyrolysis vapours and combustion gases pass together to the six adjacent holes situated at the angles of the hexagon, these holes now serving only as gas outlet holes 21. As shown in Figure 6, the combustion gases and pyrolysis vapours passing to a gas outlet hole 21, pass firstly virgin tar sand 22 and then the tar sand 23 which partly has been pyrolyzed and ultimately the zone 24 round the gas outlet hole which consists of a tar sand coke column. The methods of collecting the gases and main taining the super pressure in the tar sand are the same as in the above mentioned gas fired element process.
The supply of oxygen containing gas mixtures is interrupted when the sand temperature is 400 C. in the zone 23 where the tar sand first has partly pyrolyzed round the gas outlet holes 21.
The inlet tubes 18 can also be arranged in a triangular pattern with each tube at the angles of the triangle. The combustion gases and pyrolysis vapours are then collected in a special hole which may be situated in the center of each triangle between the elements.
The supply of oxygen containing gas mixtures is even in this case interrupted when the sand temperature in the triangle center is about 400 C. If the supply of oxygen in the gas mixtures is regulated to about 0.15-0.20 cubic meter per hour and per meter of element length, and if the distance between the element holes is about 2.5
meters, the process will take about months before the mentioned temperature is reached.
In the above mentioned examples the heat has been substantially equally distributed along the whole length of the hole in the tar sand layer. It has also been mentioned that the tar will flow downwards to the bottom layers. At least partly opposing such action, some part of the bottom layer also has been warmed up by the heating elements. To further prevent such action it may be desirable to start the heating of the sand from the bottom and then raise the heating elements upwardly through the hole. In this way the tar, when it flows downwards, meets the heat from the bottom, pyrolyzes and the pyrolysis vapours go upwards through the gas outlet tube. An example of the arrangement is shown in Figure 7. The movable gas fired element 25 is here situated at the bottom of the hole 26. The gaseous fuel and oxygen containing gas mixture enter through two concentric tubes 27 and 28 respectively down to the gas fired element 25. The combustion gases from the element 25 pass through another concentric tube 29 to a chimney, e.g. via a heater exchange, not shown in the figure. The three concentric tubes may consist of connectable parts, e.g. meter long tubes. The element with these tubes are hung up on a wire 30 which runs over a pulley arrangement 31. The pulley 32 is set up in a tower 33 whose height is somewhat more than the concentric tube parts, in this example thus about ll meters. The element equipment hangs freely in the gas outlet pipe 33 for pyrolysis vapours and the coke hole, 26.
At the burning of the sand coke as before mentioned, it is also possible to distribute the combustion gases and thus the heat unequally. Figure 8 shows how the oxygen containing gas mixture and possibly also a gaseous fuel pass through two concentric tubes 34 and 35 respectively to the bottom part of the hole 36 in which a perforated tube 37 is inserted. The outer movable concentric tube 35 is of such diameter that it can just be moved up and down through the tube 37 through the overburden 38 and the tar sand 39. The part of tube 37 which passes through the tar sand should be perforated. The lifting gear arrangement and other features may be the same as that described in Figure 7. The combustion gases 8 pass through the sand to the outlet gas tube 40 in the same way as described in Figure 6.
Figure 9 illustrates how the pyrolysis of the sand may be carried out by a number of elements to obtain unequal distribution of the heat. Here is shown, eight rows 41 of holes and how the heating front from them appears. The distance between the bottom 42 and the top 43 of the tar sand layers 44 is here divided in seven parts and the height of the heating elements is about the same as the height of the said seventh. When an element has been connected for a suitable period it is moved upwards a seventh of that distance between the top and the top of the sand layer. The raising of the burners (elements) to the next higher level may take place contemporarily in all connected rows of wells at the same time as a new well row is connected, adjacent to the most lately connected of the previously connected rows. When the new row is connected the burners in this row of wells are at their lowest level. Thus the different rows of burners will form a stepwise arrangement. The first connected element has at the time A been moved six times and connected for seven periods and the whole zone around this tube is pyrolyzed at this time. The next element has at the same time (A) only been connected for six periods and thus first a period later (at time B)'the whole sand layer around this tube has been pyrolyzed. In the same manner the following elements are connected more later and for the eighth element there is no connection until at time B. Thus there is attained a zig-Zag formed pyrolysis front which is moving along the field.
In a similar manner also the movable inlet tubes for oxygen containing gas mixtures may be arranged.
Having thus set forth my invention, I claim:
1. In a method of recovering hydrocarbons containing products from tar sands in situ in the earth, the step consising essentially of subjecting said tar sand in situ in a vertical drill hole to heat progressively vertically and columnarly along the walls of the borehole at a temperature of from about 250 C. to about 400 C. to pyrolyze the tar by cracking to produce volatile lighter hydrocarbons and coke thereby to form a tube wall of hard sand coke surrounding the columnar heating zone, said coke being of greater permeability than the tar sand.
2. The method as set forth in claim 1 in which the heat is supplied to the tar sand from a heating zone progressively moving from a lower to an upper zone.
3. The method as set forth in claim 1 in which the heat is supplied to the tar sand from a heating zone pro gressively moving from an upper to a lower zone.
4. A three-stage method of recovering hydrocarbon containing products from tar sands in situ in the earth by subjecting said tar sand in situ in the earth to heat and thereby pyrolyzing the tar in said sand to form pyrolyzed hydrocarbons and recovering volatile hydrocarbon products from the pyrolyzed tar products, characterized by the steps of initially heating the virgin tar sand deposit'progressively from its upper level to its base to a temperature of between 250 C. and 400 C. progressively to form substantially vertical cylindrical heating zones which extend from the upper level of the deposit to its base and within which the tar is pyrolyzed to form a substantially cylindrical vertical wall of hard sand coke around each cylindrical heating zone, subsequently continuing the heating at pyrolysis temperature so as to cause the wall of each individual heating zone to expand columnarly until it reaches a sand coke wall of a cylindrical heating zone and finally causing the vapors and gases produced by hydrolysis to flow through the sand coke, due to its higher permeability for gas than virgin tar sand, to some of said cylindrical heating zones, in which heating has been terminated to convert such zones into outlet holes.
5. The method as set forth in claim 4 in which the sand coke wall is produced by means of movable heating elements which in accordance with the heating conditions desired can be inserted within and removed out of the tar sand deposit.
6. The method as claimed in claim 4 in which the cylindrical heating zones are distributed over the surface of the ground covering the tar sand deposit so as to constitute the angles of at least a three sided regular polygonal pattern, the holes of Which zones upon formation of the coke wall by removal of the heating elements are transformed into discharge holes while a new cylindrical heating zone is formed by supplying oxygen containing gas mixtures through a tubular heating element inserted into the tar sand deposit in the center of the polygon.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 2,188,737 Hixon Jan. 30, 1940 2,280,851 Ranney Apr. 28, 1942 2,365,591 Ranney Dec. 19, 1944 2,584,605 Merriam et al. Feb. 5, 1952 5 2,630,307 Martin Mar. 3, 1953 2,634,961 Ljungstrom -d Apr. 14, 1953 2,688,464 Payne Sept. 7, 1954 2,694,550 Aitchison et al Nov. 16, 1954 2,734,579 Elkins Feb. 14, 1956 10 2,780,449 Fisher et al. Feb. 5, 1957 2,833,516 Salomonsson May 6, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 464,909 Canada May 9, 1950 15 (Corresponding U.S. 2,497,868Feb. 21, 1950) 121,737 Sweden May 25, 1948 123,138 Sweden Nov. 9, 1948
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|US2780449 *||Dec 26, 1952||Feb 5, 1957||Sinclair Oil & Gas Co||Thermal process for in-situ decomposition of oil shale|
|US2833516 *||Jul 10, 1952||May 6, 1958||Svenska Skifferolje Aktiebolag||Method of driving holes in bituminous strata|
|CA464909A *||May 9, 1950||David Dalin||Method of degassing and burning subterranean fuel|
|SE121737A *|| ||Title not available|
|SE123138A *|| ||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3024013 *||Apr 24, 1958||Mar 6, 1962||Phillips Petroleum Co||Recovery of hydrocarbons by in situ combustion|
|US3044546 *||May 25, 1959||Jul 17, 1962||Phillips Petroleum Co||Production of unconsolidated sands by in situ combustion|
|US3061009 *||Jan 17, 1958||Oct 30, 1962||Svenska Skifferolje Aktiebolag||Method of recovery from fossil fuel bearing strata|
|US3163218 *||Mar 14, 1960||Dec 29, 1964||Jersey Prod Res Co||Method of consolidating a formation using a heater within a liner which is thereafter destroyed|
|US3172468 *||Sep 15, 1961||Mar 9, 1965||Sun Oil Co||Consolidation of hydrocarbon gas-bearing sands by inverse in situ combustion|
|US3258073 *||Dec 26, 1963||Jun 28, 1966||Pan American Petroleum Corp||Procedure for igniting thick, carbonaceous formations|
|US3379246 *||Aug 24, 1967||Apr 23, 1968||Mobil Oil Corp||Thermal method for producing heavy oil|
|US3874452 *||Mar 11, 1974||Apr 1, 1975||Texaco Inc||Recovery of viscous petroleum from asphaltic petroleum containing formations such as tar sand deposits|
|US3946808 *||Feb 1, 1974||Mar 30, 1976||Texaco Inc.||Process for recovering hydrocarbons from a subterranean reservoir by in situ combustion|
|US4042027 *||Jun 24, 1974||Aug 16, 1977||Texaco Inc.||Precipitation, in-situ combustion|
|US4334579 *||Aug 29, 1980||Jun 15, 1982||The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of Energy||Method for gasification of deep, thin coal seams|
|US4390066 *||Feb 5, 1981||Jun 28, 1983||Conoco Inc.||Well location pattern for secondary and tertiary recovery|
|US4415034 *||May 3, 1982||Nov 15, 1983||Cities Service Company||Electrode well completion|
|US4422505 *||Jan 7, 1982||Dec 27, 1983||Atlantic Richfield Company||Method for gasifying subterranean coal deposits|
|US4640352 *||Sep 24, 1985||Feb 3, 1987||Shell Oil Company||In-situ steam drive oil recovery process|
|US4685515 *||Mar 3, 1986||Aug 11, 1987||Texaco Inc.||Modified 7 spot patterns of horizontal and vertical wells for improving oil recovery efficiency|
|US4886118 *||Feb 17, 1988||Dec 12, 1989||Shell Oil Company||Pyrolysis; enhanced oil recovery|
|US5255742 *||Jun 12, 1992||Oct 26, 1993||Shell Oil Company||Heat injection process|
|US5297626 *||Jun 12, 1992||Mar 29, 1994||Shell Oil Company||Oil recovery process|
|US5392854 *||Dec 20, 1993||Feb 28, 1995||Shell Oil Company||Oil recovery process|
|US5411089 *||Dec 20, 1993||May 2, 1995||Shell Oil Company||Heat injection process|
|US5433271 *||Dec 20, 1993||Jul 18, 1995||Shell Oil Company||Heat injection process|
|US6581684||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 24, 2003||Shell Oil Company||In Situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce sulfur containing formation fluids|
|US6588504||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 8, 2003||Shell Oil Company||Conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground coal formations; pyrolysis|
|US6591906||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 15, 2003||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected oxygen content|
|US6591907||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 15, 2003||Shell Oil Company||Pyrolysis|
|US6607033||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 19, 2003||Shell Oil Company||In Situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce a condensate|
|US6609570||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 26, 2003||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation and ammonia production|
|US6684948||Jan 15, 2002||Feb 3, 2004||Marshall T. Savage||Apparatus and method for heating subterranean formations using fuel cells|
|US6688387||Apr 24, 2001||Feb 10, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a hydrocarbon condensate|
|US6698515||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 2, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a relatively slow heating rate|
|US6702016 *||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 9, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with heat sources located at an edge of a formation layer|
|US6708758||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 23, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas|
|US6712135||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 30, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation in reducing environment|
|US6712136||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 30, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Providing heat to the formation; controlling the heat from the heat source such that an average temperature within at least a majority of the selected section of the formation is less than about 375 degrees c.|
|US6712137||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 30, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Heat exchanging to superimpose heat|
|US6715546||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 6, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Chemical and/or physical properties of hydrocarbon material within a subterranean formation may need to be changed to allow hydrocarbon material to be more easily removed|
|US6715547||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 6, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to form a substantially uniform, high permeability formation|
|US6715548||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 6, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Electrical heaters may be used to heat the subterranean formation by radiation and/or conduction|
|US6715549||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 6, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected atomic oxygen to carbon ratio|
|US6719047||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 13, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a hydrogen-rich environment|
|US6722429||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 20, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas|
|US6722430||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 20, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected oxygen content and/or selected O/C ratio|
|US6722431||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 20, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively permeable formation|
|US6725920||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 27, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to convert a selected amount of total organic carbon into hydrocarbon products|
|US6725921||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 27, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation by controlling a pressure of the formation|
|US6725928||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 27, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a distributed combustor|
|US6729395||Apr 24, 2001||May 4, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells|
|US6729396||Apr 24, 2001||May 4, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range|
|US6729397||Apr 24, 2001||May 4, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected vitrinite reflectance|
|US6729401||Apr 24, 2001||May 4, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Synthesis gas may be produced from the formation. synthesis gas may be used as a feed stream in an ammonia synthesis process. ammonia may be used as a feed stream in a urea synthesis process.|
|US6732794||Apr 24, 2001||May 11, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content|
|US6732795||Apr 24, 2001||May 11, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Providing heat from one or more heat sources to at least one portion of formation; allowing heat to transfer from the one or more heat sources to a selected section of the formation; controlling the heat; producing a mixture from the formation|
|US6732796||Apr 24, 2001||May 11, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Heating section of formation with heat sources to temperature allowing generation of synthesis gas, providing synthesis gas generating fluid to section, removing synthesis gas generated, repeating for second section, blending for desired ratio|
|US6736215||Apr 24, 2001||May 18, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation, in situ production of synthesis gas, and carbon dioxide sequestration|
|US6739393||Apr 24, 2001||May 25, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation and tuning production|
|US6739394||Apr 24, 2001||May 25, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Providing heat and a synthesis gas generating fluid to the section to generate synthesis gas|
|US6742587 *||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 1, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation to form a substantially uniform, relatively high permeable formation|
|US6742588||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 1, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce formation fluids having a relatively low olefin content|
|US6742589||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 1, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources|
|US6742593||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 1, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat transfer from a heat transfer fluid to heat the formation|
|US6745831||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 8, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Mixture of hydrocarbons, h2, and/or other formation fluids may be produced from the formation. heat may be applied to the formation to raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.|
|US6745832||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 8, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to control product composition|
|US6745837||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 8, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a controlled heating rate|
|US6749021||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 15, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Pyrolysis|
|US6752210||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 22, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores|
|US6758268||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 6, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Heat exchanging, pyrolysis; monitoring temperature|
|US6761216||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 13, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Pyrolysis temperature|
|US6763886||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 20, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation with carbon dioxide sequestration|
|US6769483||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 3, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor in conduit heat sources|
|US6769485||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 3, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ production of synthesis gas from a coal formation through a heat source wellbore|
|US6782947 *||Apr 24, 2002||Aug 31, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a relatively impermeable formation to increase permeability of the formation|
|US6789625||Apr 24, 2001||Sep 14, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using exposed metal heat sources|
|US6805195||Apr 24, 2001||Oct 19, 2004||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbon fluids and synthesis gas|
|US6820688||Apr 24, 2001||Nov 23, 2004||Shell Oil Company||Heat exchanging after pyrolyzation to support synthesis gas generation|
|US6866097||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 15, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Superpositioning of heaters for pyrolysis to form mixture of hydrocarbons and hydrogen; controlling pressure; heat exchanging|
|US6871707||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 29, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with carbon dioxide sequestration|
|US6877554||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 12, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Pyrolysis|
|US6877555||Apr 24, 2002||Apr 12, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation while inhibiting coking|
|US6880633||Apr 24, 2002||Apr 19, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce a desired product|
|US6880635||Apr 24, 2001||Apr 19, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Methods and systems for production of hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other products from underground coal formations|
|US6889769||Apr 24, 2001||May 10, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected moisture content|
|US6896053||Apr 24, 2001||May 24, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources|
|US6902003||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 7, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Allowing heat to transfer from heaters to a formation selected for heating using a total organic matter weight percentage of > 5% and recirculating hydrogen|
|US6902004||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 7, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a movable heating element|
|US6910536||Apr 24, 2001||Jun 28, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a natural distributed combustor|
|US6913078||Apr 24, 2001||Jul 5, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In Situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively impermeable formation|
|US6915850||Apr 24, 2002||Jul 12, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation having permeable and impermeable sections|
|US6918442||Apr 24, 2002||Jul 19, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground oil shale formations|
|US6918443||Apr 24, 2002||Jul 19, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground oil shale formations|
|US6923257||Apr 24, 2002||Aug 2, 2005||Shell Oil Company||pyrolysis of oils in well bores to form synthesis gas|
|US6923258||Jun 12, 2003||Aug 2, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processsing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content|
|US6929067||Apr 24, 2002||Aug 16, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Heat sources with conductive material for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation|
|US6932155||Oct 24, 2002||Aug 23, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation via backproducing through a heater well|
|US6948562||Apr 24, 2002||Sep 27, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Production of a blending agent using an in situ thermal process in a relatively permeable formation|
|US6948563||Apr 24, 2001||Sep 27, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen content|
|US6951247||Apr 24, 2002||Oct 4, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using horizontal heat sources|
|US6953087||Apr 24, 2001||Oct 11, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a permeability of the formation|
|US6959761||Apr 24, 2001||Nov 1, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells|
|US6964300||Apr 24, 2002||Nov 15, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with backproduction through a heater wellbore|
|US6966372||Apr 24, 2001||Nov 22, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce oxygen containing formation fluids|
|US6966374||Apr 24, 2002||Nov 22, 2005||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation using gas to increase mobility|
|US6969123||Oct 24, 2002||Nov 29, 2005||Shell Oil Company||Upgrading and mining of coal|
|US6973967||Apr 24, 2001||Dec 13, 2005||Shell Oil Company||hydrocarbons within a coal formation are converted in situ within the formation to yield a mixture of relatively high quality hydrocarbon products, hydrogen, and other products; the coal is heated to to temperatures that allow pyrolysis|
|US6981548||Apr 24, 2002||Jan 3, 2006||Shell Oil Company||heating and pyrolysis of heavy hydrocarbon sections in subterranean wells to produce light hydrocarbons; reduced viscosity improves movement; fluid removal in liquid and/or vapor phase|
|US6991031||Apr 24, 2001||Jan 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation to convert a selected total organic carbon content into hydrocarbon products|
|US6991032||Apr 24, 2002||Jan 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a pattern of heat sources|
|US6991033||Apr 24, 2002||Jan 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||pyrolysis of kerogens in wells to form mixtures of hydrocarbon oxidates, paraffins, hydrogen, and/or synthesis gas; process control|
|US6991036||Apr 24, 2002||Jan 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation|
|US6991045||Oct 24, 2002||Jan 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Forming openings in a hydrocarbon containing formation using magnetic tracking|
|US6994160||Apr 24, 2001||Feb 7, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range|
|US6994161||Apr 24, 2001||Feb 7, 2006||Kevin Albert Maher||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected moisture content|
|US6994168 *||Apr 24, 2001||Feb 7, 2006||Scott Lee Wellington||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen to carbon ratio|
|US6994169||Apr 24, 2002||Feb 7, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation with a selected property|
|US6997255||Apr 24, 2001||Feb 14, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a reducing environment|
|US6997518||Apr 24, 2002||Feb 14, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing and solution mining of an oil shale formation|
|US7004247||Apr 24, 2002||Feb 28, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Conductor-in-conduit heat sources for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation|
|US7004251||Apr 24, 2002||Feb 28, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Heating; recovering hydrocarbons, hydrogen|
|US7011154||Oct 24, 2002||Mar 14, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ recovery from a kerogen and liquid hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7013972||Apr 24, 2002||Mar 21, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Heat exchanging from one or more heat sources to specific locations to pyrolyze hydrocarbons at specific formations, to inhibit coking; efficiency|
|US7017661||Apr 24, 2001||Mar 28, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Production of synthesis gas from a coal formation|
|US7032660 *||Apr 24, 2002||Apr 25, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing and inhibiting migration of fluids into or out of an in situ oil shale formation|
|US7036583||Sep 24, 2001||May 2, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a porosity of the formation|
|US7040398||Apr 24, 2002||May 9, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation in a reducing environment|
|US7040399||Apr 24, 2002||May 9, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a controlled heating rate|
|US7040400||Apr 24, 2002||May 9, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a relatively impermeable formation using an open wellbore|
|US7051807||Apr 24, 2002||May 30, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with quality control|
|US7051808||Oct 24, 2002||May 30, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Seismic monitoring of in situ conversion in a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7051811||Apr 24, 2002||May 30, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing through an open wellbore in an oil shale formation|
|US7055600||Apr 24, 2002||Jun 6, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with controlled production rate|
|US7063145||Oct 24, 2002||Jun 20, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Methods and systems for heating a hydrocarbon containing formation in situ with an opening contacting the earth's surface at two locations|
|US7066254||Oct 24, 2002||Jun 27, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a tar sands formation|
|US7066257||Oct 24, 2002||Jun 27, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ recovery from lean and rich zones in a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7073578||Oct 24, 2003||Jul 11, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Staged and/or patterned heating during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7077198||Oct 24, 2002||Jul 18, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using barriers|
|US7077199||Oct 24, 2002||Jul 18, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil reservoir formation|
|US7086465||Oct 24, 2002||Aug 8, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ production of a blending agent from a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7086468||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 8, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores|
|US7090013||Oct 24, 2002||Aug 15, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce heated fluids|
|US7096941||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 29, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation with heat sources located at an edge of a coal layer|
|US7096942||Apr 24, 2002||Aug 29, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation while controlling pressure|
|US7096953||Apr 24, 2001||Aug 29, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a movable heating element|
|US7100994||Oct 24, 2002||Sep 5, 2006||Shell Oil Company||injecting a heated fluid into the well bore, producing a second fluid from the formation, conducting an in situ conversion process in the selected section.|
|US7104319||Oct 24, 2002||Sep 12, 2006||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of a heavy oil diatomite formation|
|US7114566||Oct 24, 2002||Oct 3, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Heat treatment using natural distributed combustor; oxidation of hydrocarbons to generate heat; pyrolysis|
|US7121341||Oct 24, 2003||Oct 17, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Conductor-in-conduit temperature limited heaters|
|US7121342||Apr 23, 2004||Oct 17, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Thermal processes for subsurface formations|
|US7128153||Oct 24, 2002||Oct 31, 2006||Shell Oil Company||Treatment of a hydrocarbon containing formation after heating|
|US7156176||Oct 24, 2002||Jan 2, 2007||Shell Oil Company||Installation and use of removable heaters in a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7165615||Oct 24, 2002||Jan 23, 2007||Shell Oil Company||In situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor-in-conduit heat sources with an electrically conductive material in the overburden|
|US7182132||Oct 15, 2003||Feb 27, 2007||Independant Energy Partners, Inc.||Linearly scalable geothermic fuel cells|
|US7219734||Oct 24, 2003||May 22, 2007||Shell Oil Company||Inhibiting wellbore deformation during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7225866||Jan 31, 2006||Jun 5, 2007||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a pattern of heat sources|
|US7320364||Apr 22, 2005||Jan 22, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Inhibiting reflux in a heated well of an in situ conversion system|
|US7353872||Apr 22, 2005||Apr 8, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Start-up of temperature limited heaters using direct current (DC)|
|US7357180||Apr 22, 2005||Apr 15, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Inhibiting effects of sloughing in wellbores|
|US7360588 *||Oct 17, 2006||Apr 22, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Thermal processes for subsurface formations|
|US7370704||Apr 22, 2005||May 13, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Triaxial temperature limited heater|
|US7383877||Apr 22, 2005||Jun 10, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Temperature limited heaters with thermally conductive fluid used to heat subsurface formations|
|US7424915||Apr 22, 2005||Sep 16, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Vacuum pumping of conductor-in-conduit heaters|
|US7431076||Apr 22, 2005||Oct 7, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Temperature limited heaters using modulated DC power|
|US7435037||Apr 21, 2006||Oct 14, 2008||Shell Oil Company||Low temperature barriers with heat interceptor wells for in situ processes|
|US7461691||Jan 23, 2007||Dec 9, 2008||Shell Oil Company||In situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7481274||Apr 22, 2005||Jan 27, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Temperature limited heaters with relatively constant current|
|US7490665||Apr 22, 2005||Feb 17, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Variable frequency temperature limited heaters|
|US7500528||Apr 21, 2006||Mar 10, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Low temperature barrier wellbores formed using water flushing|
|US7510000||Apr 22, 2005||Mar 31, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Reducing viscosity of oil for production from a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7527094||Apr 21, 2006||May 5, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Double barrier system for an in situ conversion process|
|US7533719||Apr 20, 2007||May 19, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Wellhead with non-ferromagnetic materials|
|US7540324||Oct 19, 2007||Jun 2, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Heating hydrocarbon containing formations in a checkerboard pattern staged process|
|US7546873||Apr 21, 2006||Jun 16, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Low temperature barriers for use with in situ processes|
|US7549470||Oct 20, 2006||Jun 23, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Solution mining and heating by oxidation for treating hydrocarbon containing formations|
|US7556095||Oct 20, 2006||Jul 7, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Solution mining dawsonite from hydrocarbon containing formations with a chelating agent|
|US7556096||Oct 20, 2006||Jul 7, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Varying heating in dawsonite zones in hydrocarbon containing formations|
|US7559367||Oct 20, 2006||Jul 14, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Temperature limited heater with a conduit substantially electrically isolated from the formation|
|US7559368||Oct 20, 2006||Jul 14, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Solution mining systems and methods for treating hydrocarbon containing formations|
|US7562706||Oct 20, 2006||Jul 21, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Systems and methods for producing hydrocarbons from tar sands formations|
|US7562707||Oct 19, 2007||Jul 21, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Heating hydrocarbon containing formations in a line drive staged process|
|US7575052||Apr 21, 2006||Aug 18, 2009||Shell Oil Company||In situ conversion process utilizing a closed loop heating system|
|US7575053||Apr 21, 2006||Aug 18, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Low temperature monitoring system for subsurface barriers|
|US7581589||Oct 20, 2006||Sep 1, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Methods of producing alkylated hydrocarbons from an in situ heat treatment process liquid|
|US7584789||Oct 20, 2006||Sep 8, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Methods of cracking a crude product to produce additional crude products|
|US7591310||Oct 20, 2006||Sep 22, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Methods of hydrotreating a liquid stream to remove clogging compounds|
|US7597147||Apr 20, 2007||Oct 6, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Temperature limited heaters using phase transformation of ferromagnetic material|
|US7604052||Apr 20, 2007||Oct 20, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Compositions produced using an in situ heat treatment process|
|US7610962||Apr 20, 2007||Nov 3, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Sour gas injection for use with in situ heat treatment|
|US7631689||Apr 20, 2007||Dec 15, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Sulfur barrier for use with in situ processes for treating formations|
|US7631690||Oct 19, 2007||Dec 15, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Heating hydrocarbon containing formations in a spiral startup staged sequence|
|US7635023||Apr 20, 2007||Dec 22, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Time sequenced heating of multiple layers in a hydrocarbon containing formation|
|US7635024||Oct 19, 2007||Dec 22, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Heating tar sands formations to visbreaking temperatures|
|US7635025||Oct 20, 2006||Dec 22, 2009||Shell Oil Company||Cogeneration systems and processes for treating hydrocarbon containing formations|
|US7640980||Apr 7, 2008||Jan 5, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Thermal processes for subsurface formations|
|US7640987||Aug 17, 2005||Jan 5, 2010||Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.||Communicating fluids with a heated-fluid generation system|
|US7644765||Oct 19, 2007||Jan 12, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Heating tar sands formations while controlling pressure|
|US7673681||Oct 19, 2007||Mar 9, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Treating tar sands formations with karsted zones|
|US7673786||Apr 20, 2007||Mar 9, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Welding shield for coupling heaters|
|US7677310||Oct 19, 2007||Mar 16, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Creating and maintaining a gas cap in tar sands formations|
|US7677314||Oct 19, 2007||Mar 16, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Method of condensing vaporized water in situ to treat tar sands formations|
|US7681647||Oct 19, 2007||Mar 23, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Method of producing drive fluid in situ in tar sands formations|
|US7683296||Apr 20, 2007||Mar 23, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Adjusting alloy compositions for selected properties in temperature limited heaters|
|US7703513||Oct 19, 2007||Apr 27, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Wax barrier for use with in situ processes for treating formations|
|US7717171||Oct 19, 2007||May 18, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Moving hydrocarbons through portions of tar sands formations with a fluid|
|US7730945||Oct 19, 2007||Jun 8, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Using geothermal energy to heat a portion of a formation for an in situ heat treatment process|
|US7730946||Oct 19, 2007||Jun 8, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Treating tar sands formations with dolomite|
|US7730947||Oct 19, 2007||Jun 8, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Creating fluid injectivity in tar sands formations|
|US7735935||Jun 1, 2007||Jun 15, 2010||Shell Oil Company||In situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation containing carbonate minerals|
|US7770643||Oct 10, 2006||Aug 10, 2010||Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.||Hydrocarbon recovery using fluids|
|US7785427||Apr 20, 2007||Aug 31, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Chromium, nickel, copper; niobium, iron manganese, nitrogen; nanonitrides; system for heating a subterranean formation;|
|US7793722||Apr 20, 2007||Sep 14, 2010||Shell Oil Company||Non-ferromagnetic overburden casing|
|US7798220||Apr 18, 2008||Sep 21, 2010||Shell Oil Company||In situ heat treatment of a tar sands formation after drive process treatment|
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